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The main purpose of the article is the conception of punishment emerging from the legal philosophy of John Austin. John Austin is commonly and accurately credited with propounding a sanctions-based conception of law. From the point of view of criminal law John Austin can be seen as a deterrence-oriented theorist. Difficulties arise when criminal law, tort law, administrative law and others are taken to serve exactly the same fundamental purpose. Austin says nothing about the features of punishments that differentiate them from sanctions of other types. It can be seen that Austin does not avoid the problem. From Austin’s point of view specifics or features of sanctions are irrelevant. In general, sanctions are to protect ordo iuris and social stability. As a utilitarian, Austin uses a simple happiness calculus, in which every stimulus (ie. sanction) has the same functions. Sanctions are employed to minimize the utility (and probability) of crimes and other forbidden acts. This article analyzes the consequences of such an approach to sanctions or punishments.